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Claudia and Sophie in Year 10 address the concepts of living with regret and seeing failure as ‘a lack of success’.
“I’m Claudia and I would like to share a new concept with you: don’t regret, regret!
Regret means to feel disappointed in a situation due to failure. Now, I’m not here to tell you that you shouldn’t have regret, because if there is a vacancy of this feeling, then you are showing one of the traits of a psychopath. Rather, I believe that to live your best life you need to live with regret. Although learning how to recognise and accept regret can be a challenge.
Failing is mainly induced by one of two things. Number one is making impulsive decisions, such as spending your weekly allowance on those daily Freddo Frogs or pulling an all-nighter for that Maths exam the next day. The second category of failing is unfortunate situations. By this I mean when your success is compromised because of an external cause. Even though failure may be out of your control, regretting what has already happened is in your control.
One simple way to stop regretting, regret is through laughter. Finding humour in personal misfortune may seem unrealistic at the time, but this genuinely can make the circumstance easier in the future.
If I could have a dollar for every time I have failed in my past few years at Wenona, I would be one of the world’s youngest millionaires. And yes, at the time each of those failures came with regret, but without them I wouldn’t be standing here today. By laughing at myself and keeping a positive mindset, even when I know I have made the wrong decision, I have learned to live a life without copious amounts of regret. So, if there are two things you can take from what I have said today it is to master the art of laughing at yourself, and don’t regret, regret!”
Claudia (Year 10)
“When thinking about the challenge of failure, I decided not to focus on my own personal failures. Instead, I focused on the failure of three well-known women who have each managed to overcome failure, just like we can.
The dictionary definition of failure is ‘a lack of success’. With hard work, we can all get to where we want to be, just like these three influential women, JK Rowling, Oprah Winfrey and Ash Barty, who have faced knockbacks from publishers, racial adversity, and losing in a sport they love.
The Harry Potter series wasn't made in one day. JK Rowling didn't get a ‘yes’ straight away. In fact, many publishers gave her a hard no! But she persisted as it was something she believed in. Think about well-known talk show host Oprah Winfrey. She said that she went to several different television stations before achieving success. She endured many knockbacks due to her racial background. And finally, our own, Ash Barty the Australian tennis player didn't start out ranked number 17 in the world. It was through hard work, trying new things and realising that she could improve on her failures and losses in the game that she is now ranked where she is.
As Emma Watson, who played Hermione Granger in Harry Potter, once said, “I don't want the fear of failure to stop me from doing what I love.” Through these women, we can see that having failures isn’t that bad. They all discovered what they love to do, and instead of fearing the worst, they just went for it.
So, failure is essentially not succeeding, which we all do every day. Next time you think you have failed, you actually haven’t. You just had a lack of success at that particular time. And when the opportunity arises again, keep persisting until you get to the final goal. Failure is opportunity!”
Sophie (Year 10)